Róisín Murphy guards over her songwriting career like a lioness protecting its cubs and with good reason. A quick glance, from leftfield downtempo bangers like ‘Party Weirdo’ to Top Of The Pops smashes like ‘The Time Is Now’ and ‘Sing It Back’ with Moloko and a wildly divergent solo career that has flitted joyfully from Italian song to powerhouse tracks like ‘Let Me Know’ means she has stealthily developed into Britain’s most innovative and restless artist.
Murphy’s rising status has been greatly enhanced by her presentational verve. During her Overpowered campaign she fine-tuned a visual language that has since become synonymous with any number of pop divas. Recalling Leigh Bowery’s outlandish and influential looks, Róisín says, “there’s always a ‘club kid’ influence in what I do. It’s obviously in my music and my wonky dancing, and I suppose that’s what singles me out from the more trained, ‘real’ pop stars. With loads of major label money, I was really able to indulge it! I brought in my pal Scott King to creative-direct and he, quite brilliantly, spotted a certain tension. He felt I was this extraordinary creature who had to get on the bus and pick up shopping from Sainsbury’s. I’ve never been famous but I get this a lot: ‘She must be someone!’” This someone is about to deliver her latest album, Róisín Machine, a set that has been quietly gestating for two decades and was ten years in the making.